The following awards are decided by the fans via online public vote:
Best Major Festival
The giants of the festival world playing host to the world’s biggest acts, tens of thousands of people and multiple arenas across sites that sprawl for acres. Like popup small cities, the largest festivals are a regular pilgrimage and a rite of passage for many. But which one is the best of the big daddies?
2012 winner: Bestival!
Best Medium-Sized Festival
Not as large as the giants, but by no means in their shadow, these colourful and diverse events provide a more boutique feel, and a more intimate experience. Many start life much smaller, but have grown to this size due to their popularity. Some will keep expanding and join the ranks of the majors, others will settle happily into their niche and stay there. Who will pick up the prize this year?
2012 winner: Bloodstock!
Best Small Festival
Often quirky, due to a personal touch and grassroots appeal, the cosiness and sense of community at these festivals is second to none for many people. This award celebrates those who stick to the mantra that small is beautiful.
2012 winner: Y-Not!
Best New Festival
Once again, some excellent new events were launched this year, bravely taking on those with established reputations. Bringing a fresh take, new music and alternative audiences to the festival scene, which one have you already put in your diary for next time?
2012 winner: Festival Number Six!
Best Family Festival
Growing up doesn’t mean you have to stop going to festivals – it just gives you a great opportunity to bring your kids! Every year, there seems to be more and more children at festivals, with increasingly impressive areas and facilities for kids reflecting this growth. Games, workshops, kid zones and activities for youngsters all combine to make their weekend a memorable one – and often a much easier one for mums and dads. Which festival was the most enjoyable for kids and parents this year?
2012 winner: Latitude!
Best Metropolitan Festival
Using the existing infrastructure of a town’s venues, this sector is growing thanks to no need for camping, very little threat from the weather and the ability to take place at any time of the year. Sold either on a show-by-show basis, or an all encompassing wristband, they give people chance to see multiple acts in the comfort of the indoors. Which one had you ditching green fields for the concrete jungle?
2012 winner: Camden Crawl!
Best Dance Event
Tribes have been gathering to dance in fields for millennia. More recently, growing numbers of events solely dedicated to electronic music have been forging a name for themselves as crowds look to dance the day – and night – away to everything from techno to trance and dubstep to house. Which one had you reaching for the lasers?
2012 winner: Global Gathering!
The Grass Roots Festival Award
Often the best small festivals spring from an organic labour of love and a long-time dream which has been shared by thousands more. These festivals should be celebrated, not just for the courage, vision, commitment and often personal sacrifice invested by their organisers, but also because they never forget where they’ve come from, supporting their local communities and new music along the way while retaining an independent spirit and resisting commercial saturation. All hail the grass roots festivals and their creators!
2012 winner: Green Man!
Best Overseas Festival
Increasing numbers of Brits are heading abroad for their festival fix, choosing a different culture, new surroundings or sometimes just more reliable weather over home events. Some have become household names the world over for their international appeal and some even have more Brits in attendance than many homegrown medium sized festivals. Which one will be voted top by the fans?
2012 winner: Benicassim (Spain)!
Always one of the most talked-about issues at festivals, whether it’s pongy portable loos, the lingering longdrops or the unpleasant urinals, all festival toilets tang, but some more than others. Which festival boasted the cleanest cans and quickest queues?
2012 winner: Lodestar!
Headline Performance of the Year
A killer headline performance can be talked about for years to come, etched into musical history as one of those “I was there” moments. To succeed requires energy, musicianship, dedication, creativity and a fortuitous coming together of time and space. Some acts may be regulars on the festival circuit, but which one nailed it?
2012 winner: New Order at Festival Number Six!
Best Breakthrough Artist
New talent is the lifeblood of the festival scene and smaller events and stages are abound with fresh acts hoping to catch the ears of the masses of music-lovers, and secure their place on the road to becoming tomorrow’s headliners. This award celebrates the ones that managed to get the fans and critics to sit up and pay attention.
2012 winner: Jake Bugg!
Anthem of the Summer
The ultimate test of any song is how it’s received live – and there’s no better place than at festivals. While thousands of great records have been lapped up by millions over the summer, a few stood out as true classics, creating defining festival moments and were sung all the way back to the campsite. Which was your fave?
2012 winner: Django Django – ‘Default’!
The following more specialist awards are decided by panels of industry experts:
Line-Up Of The Year
Picking the right bill will make or break a festival – no mean feat when there are hundreds of others trying to better you and a decreasing pool of established acts to bid on. Whether it’s about securing the biggest names in the world, putting together special collaborations, or just knowing what the audience wants, our judges are looking for the festival which displayed the most vision when booking acts.
2012 winner: Download!
Agency of the Year
Recognising the booking agency responsible for making the greatest positive contribution to this summer’s festival content.
2012 winner: William Morris Agency!
Concession of the Year
Food, drink, cash machines, merchandise: the essentials that keep festival-goers on their feet not only provide an essential source of income for festivals, but can also make a huge difference to the overall colour of an event. Concession staff are there day and night, rain or shine, with a smile and good humour, and this Award acknowledges the hard work they do and the importance of concession at festivals.
2012 winner: Paelleria!
The Greener Festival Award
The Red Kite mark is awarded by www.agreenerfestival.com on the basis of a questionnaire and where possible an environmental assessment. All festivals must demonstrate that they have coherent green policies promoting environmental efficiency and sustainability, including issues such as CO2 emissions, waste management and recycling. Which is the Greenest of them all?
2011 winner: Croissant Neuf Summer Party!
Best Brand Activation
Sponsorship is a revenue stream that many festivals now depend on for their very existence. Yet creating an effective brand strategy around festivals that adds, rather than detracts, from the experience is an art-form in itself. This award celebrates the most creative and well-executed sponsor activity this year.
2012 winner: Southern Comfort Juke Joint!
The Extra-Festival Activity Award
Music may be the vital heartbeat of all our festivals, but it’s often the “extras”, such as pop-up performances, mass participation games, quirky installations or just spectacular attention to detail which fill heads and cameras with memories that last a lifetime. There are so many unique and wonderful creative elements at festivals, but which one was extra special?
2012 winner: Live From Jodrell Bank!
Promoter of the Year
Recognising the festival organiser who has produced an outstanding event, overcome adversity, or truly gone above and beyond the call of duty and pulled something phenomenal out of the bag. There’s always at least one each year, often several so this one is often a very tough call for judges.
2012 winner: Gareth Cooper (Outgoing/ SBH Events)
The Lifetime Achievement Award
Dedicated to an individual whose personal vision and energy has propelled the entire festival marketplace forward in a dynamic, creative and positive way.
2012 winner: John Probyn (Live Nation)